Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist


It's no accident that the word we use when we want to be particularly beastly about the middleclass is a French word- bourgeois; the French loathe their middleclass- which means loathing themselves- with a virulence no other nation can match.

Hidden- even though its author is a genial, white-haired Austrian- is in the French tradition of dishing it out to the bourgeoisie. Georges and Ann ( beautifully played by Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche) have nice media jobs and live in a nice house in a nice suburb. They have nice friends whom they invite to nice dinner parties. They even know someone who is black. The discreet charm of their existence is undermined when they are made aware that their house is being watched. 

Hidden isn't a straightforward thriller.  We are given promising leads to follow and all of them end in uncertainty. Something terrible happened- once- a long time ago- and quite what it was has been blurred by the vagaries of memory and the habit of lying.  Someone wants revenge but it's never clear who. Georges is trapped inside a maze inside a mist.  He craves resolution- justice, forgiveness, forgetfulness- whatever- and yet he's not even entirely sure he has any good reason to feel so guilty.   

It's a truism to call works of art disturbing- and mostly they're not- but this one really is.
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